Eltron International Posts Record Revenues and Income for Year

Eltron International in Simi Valley reported record results for 1997, due principally to increased sales of thermal label printers and plastic card printers to new and existing customers worldwide.

However, the company's stock fell sharply after the report was issued because fourth-quarter results were far below analysts' expectations.

For the year, revenues increased 19% to a record $105 million from $88.5 million a year earlier, exceeding $100 million for the first time in Eltron's history. Sales to customers other than UPS increased 36% in 1997, while sales to UPS declined 19%.

Net income increased 64% to a record $11.6 million, from $7.1 million in 1996. Diluted earnings per share increased to $1.49, compared with 91 cents in the previous year.

"1997 represents our seventh consecutive year of growth," said Donald K. Skinner, chairman and CEO. "We are particularly pleased with the continued strong increase in sales to customers other than United Parcel Service."

The company also reported record revenues for the fourth quarter of $28.7 million, an increase of 26% from revenues of $22.7 million in the comparable period a year earlier. Sales to customers other than UPS increased by 18% in the fourth quarter of 1997 compared with the same period a year ago, while sales to UPS jumped 69% from the same period a year ago.

Net income for the fourth quarter was $2.2 million, or 28 cents per share, compared with $2.3 million, or 30 cents per share, in the fourth quarter of 1996. Skinner said the income was affected by start-up costs associated with an evolving UPS product mix as well as nonrecurring expenses and a change in the French tax rate.

The nonrecurring expenses included costs associated with the company's expansions in the United Kingdom, France and the Far East.

Analysts said income was about 20 cents per share less than expected.

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